The supportive force of the Libyan army condemns

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Leaders and revolutionaries of the force that supports the Libyan army on Saturday condemned the election of Fathi Bashagha as head of the new government, a move that risks triggering a new power struggle in the war-torn nation.

In a statement read on Martyrs’ Square in the capital Tripoli, they said that the support force condemned “the absurd situation that contradicts the results of the political dialogue forum and wants the country to enter a new transition phase.”

Decisions taken in the House of Representatives (HoR) at its most recent meeting in Tobruk were not “in accordance with fair and transparent procedures,” they said.

They expressed “strong support for the parliamentary elections, the referendum on the constitution and the presidential elections as soon as possible”, according to the statement.

On the other hand, Chief of Staff (HCS) Khalid al-Mishri said Bashagha’s appointment to replace Dbeibah stemmed from the text following “a rare consensus” between parliamentary bodies on Saturday.

HCS, a Tripoli-based body equivalent to a senate, usually competes with the HoR, based in Tobruk.

Parliament in eastern Libya appointed Bashagha as the country’s new prime minister on Thursday.

However, incumbent Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah rejected the move and promised to remain in office until national elections are held.

Both Bashagha and Dbeibah have the support of rival armed groups in the Libyan capital. The position of the United Nations and the great powers will be decisive in determining the outcome of the struggle for the interim government after years of foreign interference in the conflict. The UN has continued to support Dbeibah after the House vote. But the UN said on Friday that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had noted Parliament’s move to appoint Bashagha, and a move by Parliament along with the HCS to chart a revised path to elections.

Stephanie Williams, the UN Special Adviser in Libya, said that free and fair elections in Libya should be held “in the shortest possible time”, as she met with both Dbeibah and Bashagha.

Libya’s elections were scheduled for December 24 but were postponed due to disagreements between political rivals. No new date for the vote has been agreed yet.

Libyans hope the election will help end the armed conflict that has plagued the oil-rich country for years.

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